On Saturday I’ll be in Lawrenceburg, Indiana competing in event number three of the 2011 Buckeye BFL circuit. I’m currently in 29th place in the season standings, and will be looking to move up after this event, which launches from Tanners Creek.
Fishing my way to the All American and on to the FLW Championship through the BFL’s is definitely a long shot. But it CAN happen. Just ask 20 year old Jacob Wheeler of Indianapolis who is featured on this month’s cover of FLW Magazine for winning $100,000 at the 2010 All American and qualifying for the FLW Championship. Oh, and for the record, he qualified through the Buckeye division! But that doesn’t surprise me, because Ohio anglers have to put up with some of the toughest fishing in the country. That means that our mental toughness on the water is fine-tuned for tournaments when the bite is brutally tough.
I’ve had a streak of quality finishes over the past few week in local tournaments and hope to carry that momentum with me to Saturday. On Tuesday the 11th I finished 4th place and had big bass at the Griggs tournament, and then on Sunday finished 2nd with Marshall on O’Shaughnessy.
3.6 lb Griggs Big Bass
Momentum in tournament fishing might be more important than in any other sport. When you’ve got momentum and everything seems to be going your way out there it carries over from day to day and lake to lake. You get into a zone. You’re making good decisions about where to fish, what to throw, when to stay, and when to move. But most importantly, you have the confidence to trust your instincts and listen to that voice in your head thats telling you to put down the crankbait and start flipping.
Here’s a recent example. Going into a tournament two weeks ago I had been on a really strong crankbait bite, and figured that I could cover water all day and put together a nice limit. Well, 11 a.m rolled around and all I had to show from heaving the crankbait for 4 hours was one scrawny 12 inch largemouth. The voice in my head was telling me that I HAD to move away from the shoreline and start working a football jig and shakey head into deeper water. Although it was hard to put the crankbait down because of the quality I had been catching only a few days earlier, my head prevailed and I started saturating rockpiles. I ended up working one area for the next three hours, caught 8 keepers and culled all the way up to an 8.5 lb bag of fish that put me in 5th place overall.
I’ll post an update after the Tanners Creek event. Pre-fishing went well, but things change quickly. Hopefully I will be able to practice what I preach and will have the discipline to listen to that little voice in my head if my strategy doesn’t go as planned.